Immigration to drive Canada’s population growth as global birth rates fall

Shelby Thevenot
Published: July 19, 2020

Canada will need to keep immigration as a priority to remain competitive in the global economy at the end of the century, a new study suggests.

The study by The Lancet forecasts a global population decline starting in the late 21st century. They suggest that the world population will peak at 9.73 billion in 2064 and will decline to 8.79 billion by the year 2100.

The study’s researchers expect Canada’s population to peak at 45.2 million in 2078 and fall to 44.1 million in 2100. However, this is much more conservative than the Conference Board of Canada’s forecast from 2018, which suggested that Canada’s population would reach 45 million by 2040 should immigration levels reach one per cent of the country’s population per year. It also suggested that Canada’s population growth would depend entirely on immigration by 2030.

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

Most of Canada’s population growth is already driven by immigration. In 2019, about 82 per cent of the population growth came from the arrival of immigrants, and about 18 per cent came from new births, a number which is decreasing every year according to Statistics Canada.

“For high-income countries with fertility rates lower than the replacement level, the most immediate solution is liberal immigration policies,” the Lancet researchers wrote.

Canada saw the highest net immigration rates in the study, along with Turkey and Sweden. Should Canada’s openness to immigration continue, the research shows that sustained population growth and workforce expansion will accompany economic growth.

By 2030, Canada is expected to replace Russia as the tenth-largest economy in the world and maintain that ranking through the rest of the century. Since Canada is expected to maintain a strong GDP over the next century it is also expected to hold on to geopolitical power by sustaining its working-age population through immigration.

“The optimal strategy for economic growth, fiscal stability, and geopolitical security is liberal immigration with effective assimilation into these societies,” the study says.

Researchers concluded that once population decline begins it is not likely to stop by the end of the century. In spite of this, Canada is one of the countries expected to sustain its population thorough liberal immigration policies and social policies that are more supportive of women working and having control over their reproductive rights. This is also likely to cause Canada to have a larger overall GDP, with the various social, economic and geopolitical benefits that come with having a stable working-age population.

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

© 2020 CIC News All Rights Reserved

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Top Stories
Study finds more newcomers are considering moving to escape housing costs
Frequently asked questions about visas for students, workers and tourists coming to Canada
Ontario and British Columbia invite candidates to apply for provincial nomination
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Provinces
Ontario and British Columbia invite candidates to apply for provincial nomination
Swimming dock on an Ontario lake.
More jobs now eligible for Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Occupations Stream of Ontario’s PNP
Niagara Falls as seen from above
British Columbia and Manitoba invite PNP candidates in latest draws
BC and Manitoba have invited candidates in latest PNP draws.
Alberta launching new AAIP pathway for law enforcement professionals
Alberta is launching a PNP stream for law enforcement professionals
Link copied to clipboard